Saturday, September 15, 2007
Thoughts on Sun CDDL License
Here is the comment that Pat left:
- ZFS for Linux - http://www.wizy.org/wiki/ZFS_on_FUSE My understanding (and I am not a lawyer, even on open source licensing!) is that CDDL/GPL incompatibilities prevent building ZFS into the Linux kernel. CDDL says "you can mingle this code with anything", GPL says "you can only mingle this code with GPL code"...
As for Windows, the ZFS code is there, I'm not sure that anyone except Microsoft could graft a new filesystem into Windows.
Pat is one of the most well-intentioned individuals and bloggers I know. The problem is that his perspective on CDDL is somewhat insular and indoctrinated. I wonder if he has ever had a conversation with any corporate lawyers whose primary business isn't technology and asked them their opinion of CDDL.
A lawyer friend of mines (Hi Tricia) who is employed by a Fortune 200 Bank had pinged me awhile back wanting to get my opinion on a variety of open source projects. In conversations with lawyers, I tend to learn a lot and was especially intrigued that her opinion was that using standalone software like operating systems has a different risk profile than using software such as libraries that are compiled in.
She mentioned that corporate friendly licenses permit redistribution without restrictions on commercial use and don't have broad retaliation clauses. In reading into her position, I would guess that she doesn't like Sun, IBM or Mozilla but would like likes such as GPL 2.0, Apache and MIT though. Maybe I lucked out in that projects such as Liferay Enterprise Portal, ServiceMix and others that I recommend fall into the later while the ones I constantly bash do not...